HOW OUR BLOG BEGAN, in AUGUST 2010: As many of you know, Phil has been struggling with a very complex series of neurological issues for about 5 years. This past spring, the issues became especially intense as a result of an unexpected cognitive decline and a fall on May 15th that resulted in a head injury and further decline. And then, on July 16th things catapulted to unbelievable, as Phil suffered from a severe "electrical storm" in his brain that essentially created a status of brain death for two full days. Inexplicably, the very morning that neurologists and other medical team members were planning removal of life support, Phil began breathing on his own and his brain waves returned to a stable, while still abnormal, level. Since then, each day has been a unique journey. And while he and his body continue to demonstrate a will and capacity to live, he continues to have severe deficits and it is quite uncertain as to the path he will take. As loved ones close in can attest to, it has been tricky to keep up emotionally with all of his changes, and provide the needed support. We can only imagine the hard work Phil has gone through as his brain has taken him through such roller coaster experiences. It is our goal here to keep family and close friends apprised of Phil's ongoing story, and to build connections that honor him.

AND THEN, SEPTEMBER 11, 2010....Dad's remarkable journey alongside us culminated in a gentle, generous death.

And so, my goal here now as his daughter is simply this: to record snippets...pieces of his life that my memory offers back to me, pieces of myself as I learn to live without a dad. I hope all who meander by find life, and hope, and peace.

Monday, August 16, 2010

family love

How encouraging already to hear from Aunt Gail, Uncle Mike and Brother Daniel.  So cool to feel the love.  Thank you!!  And wow, soaking up Daniel's post-within-a-comment.  Important, his acknowledgement of our individual ways of coping with life and death changes in the ones we love.  And his story within Dad's story, his experiences at Field Training, is a wonderful tribute to Dad.

If any of you were to call to ask for an update, I would only be able to tell about my efforts to set up my life so I can fully re-engage with Dad.  I haven't been to visit him since Cheryl and Darren and the kids left middle of last week.  Our last day, all of us together with him, was powerful.  Momentous.  And sad.

Seems difficult for me to know how to catch my breath from intense experiences like the ones we've all experienced together in the past weeks.  I tend to need to withdraw completely. And then jump fully in again.  Like, 110% on, 90% off, 120% in, 88% out.  A good strategy, in theory, but not very practical in the living of it.  Life doesn't like being put on indefinite hold, and sad situations get harder to re-visit as time passes.  How to jump back in?  And how deep is too deep? 

*     *     *     *     *

Today in church a phrase in one of our songs caught my attention:  "if grace is an ocean, we're all sinking."  (How He Loves by David Crowder)

A rather negative image of God's grace, I gotta say -- the sinking part, at least.  (It's the only thing not to love about the ocean, other than the sharks and the jellyfish.)  But it does create a picture of the bigness of His grace, and the inescapable-ness of it all.

Which got me thinking.  Maybe the reason the sadness is so hard to deal with when I do take my breaks is because I am stepping out of the way of the waves.  Shifting gears, and keeping life's other responsibilities nurtured, is crucial.  But so is facing the heartache, head on.  Maybe it's where God's grace can best be found. was all about setting up the logistics of my life so I can be sure to get in and soak up my Dad.  I'll keep in mind that whole ocean of grace thing as I get ready to go.


I anticipate a medical update for you guys on Wednesday or Friday.


xoxo to all!!!

1 comment:

  1. I think we all have trouble being partially engaged ... I guess it's a Bruce trait ...